Spanish Football Federation president Angel Maria Villar was arrested Tuesday along with his son and two more federation executives as part of an anti-corruption probe.
The office of the state prosecutor in charge of anti-corruption said they suspect Villar, who is FIFA’s senior vice president and a UEFA vice president, of having arranged matches for Spain’s national team that led to business deals that benefited his son.
The state prosecutor and Spanish police both said that Villar, his son Gorka Villar, and two other soccer officials were detained while raids were carried out at the federation headquarters and other properties.
Police said the other two men who were arrested were Juan Padron, the federation’s vice president of economic affairs who is also the president of the regional federation for Tenerife, and the secretary of that regional federation. The four men were arrested on charges of improper management, misappropriation of funds, corruption and falsifying documents as part of a probe into the finances of the federations.
“We have taken note of the media reports concerning the situation of Mr. Villar Llona,” FIFA said in a statement. “As the matter seems to be linked to internal affairs of the Spanish Football Association, for the time being we kindly refer you to them for further details.”
As part of an operation called “Soule,” the Guardia Civil’s anti-corruption unit said it raided the national federation’s headquarters on the outskirts of the Spanish capital, the offices of the regional soccer federation on the island of Tenerife, and “headquarters of businesses and several private homes linked to the arrested individuals.”
Police started the probe in early 2016 after a complaint was made by Spain’s Higher Council of Sport, the government’s sports authority.
The probe led the state prosecutor’s office to suspect that Angel Maria Villar “could have arranged matches of the Spanish national team with other national teams, thereby gaining…